Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour
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Theme 2: Perception, Action and Control

Disorders in Impulse- and Aggression Regulation

Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and BehaviourOur research theme is to understand the neurobiological impairments in individuals with disorders in impulse- and/or aggression control.

In terms of psychiatric diagnoses we are interested in antisocial and borderline personality disorders, psychopathy, ADHD and drug abuse. We want to answer questions like: Which brain functions are impaired?, What neurotransmitter systems are involved? What are, from a neurobiological perspective, possibilities to treat these disorders?

Important issues are the perception and interpretation of social cues, and the flexibility to adapt behavior through action monitoring, reinforcement learning and decision making. We use neuropsychology, neurophysiology (EEG, fMRI), pharmacological challenges and genetics to investigate these issues.

We have in particular interest in the influence on impulsive behavior of psychotropic compounds, i.e., registered drugs, illicit drugs and alcohol, including the individual differences in the effects of these drugs.

Name: Robbert-Jan Verkes
Telephone: 024-3613490

Fax: 024-3540561
Visiting address: Donders Centre for Neuroscience
Geert Grooteplein Noord 21, hp 126
6525 EZ Nijmegen
The Netherlands
Postal address: Donders Centre for Neuroscience
P.O. Box 9101
6500 HB Nijmegen
The Netherlands
Key grants and prizes
  • Neurobiology of aggression; 4 projects. R.J.Verkes, 2011, Pompestichting (274 k€)
  • Aggression Replacement Training. R.J. Verkes, J.K. Buitelaar, 2010, NWO (425 k€)
  • Action monitoring in violent offenders. I.Brazil, [R.J.Verkes, E. de Bruijn], 2009, NWO Mozaïek (200 k€ )
  • The impulsive brain. J. Ramaekers, R.J. Verkes, 2009, ZonMW (500 k€)
  • ForMINDS - neurocognitive testbattery for forensic psychiatry. R.J. Verkes, 2009, Ministry of Safety and Justice (126 k€)
Key publications
  • Schellekens A.F., Franke B., Ellenbroek B., Cools A., de Jong C.A., Buitelaar J.K., Verkes R.J. Reduced Dopamine Receptor Sensitivity as an Intermediate Phenotype in Alcohol Dependence and the Role of the COMT Val158Met and DRD2 Taq1A Genotypes. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2012; 69: 339-48
  • van der Zwaluw C.S., Engels R.C., Vermulst A.A., Franke B., Buitelaar J.K., Verkes R.J., Scholte R.H. Interaction between dopamine D2 receptor genotype and parental rule-setting in adolescent alcohol use: evidence for e gene-parenting interaction. Molecular Psychiatry. 2010; 15:727-35
  • Ossewaarde L., Verkes R.J., Hermans E.J., Kooijman S.C., Urner M., Tendolkar I., van Wingen G.A., Fernández G. Two-Week Administration of the Combined Serotonin-Noradrenaline Reuptake Inhibitor Duloxetine Augments Functioning of Mesolimbic Incentive Processing Circuits. Biol Psychiatry. 2011; 70: 568-74
  • Brazil I.A., de Bruijn E.R.A., Bulten B.H., von Borries A.K.L., van Lankveld J.J.D.M., Buitelaar J.K., Verkes R.J. Early and late components of error-monitoring in violent offenders with psychopathy. Biological Psychiatry. 2009; 65:137-43.
  • Brazil I. A., Mars R.B., Bulten B.H., Buitelaar J.K., Verkes R.J., De Bruijn E.R. Neurophysiological correlates of the detection of own and other’s errors in individuals with psychopathy. Biol Psychiatry. 2011; 69: 693-9

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Research Theme 2:
Perception, Action and Decision-making

Research Group
Disorders in Impulse- and Aggression Regulation

Principal Investigator
Robbert-Jan Verkes